Page, Kolton Cash (2017-12). Determination of Curriculum Relevance to Industry: The Texas FFA Career Development Event Poultry Skills and Knowledge Curriculum as it Relates to the Poultry Industry. Master's Thesis.
I attempted to assess the relevance of the Texas FFA Poultry Evaluation Career Development Event (CDE) curriculum to the poultry industry--specifically, as the event relates to preparing students for careers in the poultry industry. In the first phase of the study, I interviewed poultry industry professionals and academic faculty who focused on broiler production, layers/egg production, processing, nutrition, genetics, disease, entrepreneurship, or who held a general focus. The intent of the interviews was to record participants' views about the knowledge and skills needed by entry-level employees who are college graduates. The findings revealed that it is important for college graduate, entry-level employees to possess general poultry knowledge, computer technology skills, math skills, the ability to learn, strong work ethic, interpersonal skills, communication skills, and problem-solving skills. Findings also revealed that those currently entering the industry lack interpersonal skills, communication skills, work ethic, and problem-solving skills. In the second phase, I reviewed data collected during interviews with the industry leaders to determine what knowledge and skills were being taught to high school students through the Texas FFA Poultry Evaluation CDE curriculum. The findings suggested that each piece of the current curriculum was useful in providing a basic understanding of poultry and the poultry industry--from the perspective that students might pursue a career in this field. However, the findings also revealed deficiencies in the curriculum related to desired communication skills, team collaboration skills, computer technology skills, and bird health knowledge and skills. Industry leaders expressed that the CDE also failed to inform students of the vast career options available in the poultry industry or develop students' problem-solving skills through a deep understanding of the subject matter. Based upon findings, I recommend the Texas FFA Poultry Evaluation CDE curriculum be revised to include elements to enhance participants' communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and bird health knowledge and skills. Improvements in these areas are important to the poultry industry and are likely to result in more capable employees entering the poultry industry.